1,449 students from age 3 to 6 are now enrolled in Alfalit’s pre-school programs.
This fall, students in Bolivia received a visit from Alfalit Executive Director, Catherine Penrod and Program Director, Juan Marcos Bello. The team visited literacy centers, preschool centers, and job skills centers in Cochabamba and Sucre.
In Bolivia, 37% of women in rural areas are illiterate. Illiteracy prevents them from finding work that can generate enough income to provide for their families and is believed to be a main cause of high maternal mortality rate.
Alfalit’s programs continue to help hundreds of women in Bolivia learn to read, write and do basic math and learn how to apply those skills to higher paying jobs. The students are eager to work together to clean up spaces and create better learning environments. Together, they clean, paint and replace broken windows.
Most of the classes lack adequate teaching materials. Some have watercolor paints and paper, but most do not. One teacher brings rice from home to use in class and then, takes it home, washes it and uses it to prepare meals.
Many women are joined by their children. In 2017, more than 1,400 children, ages 3-6 years, were enrolled in Alfalit’s preschool programs. New mothers attend class with their babies wrapped in Bolivian Aguayo cloth so they can nurse their newborns. In the poorest neighborhoods, meals are limited and in some areas no lunch is available at all for the children. Many times, mothers will take turns providing lunch for the children.
As a result of this trip, Alfalit International committed to including meals as part of the preschool programs in Bolivia. If you would like more information on how you can support Alfalit’s programs in Bolivia, please email Executive Director, Catherine Penrod at [email protected]